TMZ: Greeting Card Mocking Whitney Houston’s “Bad Boy” Relationship Was “Kinda Funny”
4:05 pm, February 29th | by Amy Tennery
Before Whitney Houston’s tragic death, Target decided to make light of (and cash in on) her turbulent, sometimes violent, relationship with Bobby Brown. They sold a card warning of the dangers of falling for “bad boys,” pointing to Houston as an example, in an attempted ‘funny’ way.
Of course, now that she’s dead, these jokes… well, they weren’t funny at all before; and now they’re more taboo than ever. So you can imagine the surprise of one Target shopper who came across the greeting cards in question this week.
Here’s what, exactly, the card said, according to several reports:
Next time you think of dating a bad boy, consider Whitney Houston. That’s all I’m going to say.
Sure, it doesn’t specifically name Whitney Houston’s one-time husband, Brown — but it’s clear he’s the implied “bad boy.” The greeting card trivializes the devastating effect their relationship had on Houston, equating a perpetrator of domestic violence with some dude who wears a leather jacket, rides a Harley and totes a pack of Camels. Or some other non-dated “bad boy” archetype. Take your pick.
TMZ jumped on the story today, arguing that, “the card was kinda funny before she died — but now that Whitney’s gone, Target has decided it’s a tad too offensive… at least for now.”
Hmm. A “tad?” A smidge? Sure, plenty had an arsenal of Whitney Houston jokes prior to her death. Maya Rudolph may have been among the most visible — and many of her skits were funny. And no, we can’t spare the world from a barbed joke here or there for fear they might die at some point. But what TMZ misses — and what whoever thought of this dumb card missed — is that it wasn’t just a joke about Houston. It was a joke about marrying an emotional and physical abuser.
Further to the point, this is actually the second offensive greeting card scandal to rock the Target shelves in the last month alone. Fewer than three weeks ago, Target pulled a card that made light of stalking, with the caption:
Stalker is a harsh word. I prefer “Valentine.”
This didn’t go over great with stalking victim advocates, who told Forbes that, again, not surprisingly, they found the stalking quip pretty offensive.
Whatever happened to Hallmark greetings?